Muscle Mass: Can Preserving Muscles Help Prevent Heart Disease as You Age?
Yale School of Medicine – A study published in the January 2020 issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that measures of skeletal muscle mass can provide a valuable predictor of cardiovascular disease risk among people at least 45-years-old without pre-existing heart conditions.
Specifically, preserving muscle mass may contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease.
Below, please find a Q&A regarding the study on muscle mass and cardiovascular disease risk.
Muscle Mass & Cardiovascular Disease Q&A
What’s the most important thing people should know about this study as it relates to their health? Are there any simple conclusions to draw?
The findings suggest that a higher skeletal muscle mass may have a protective benefit against cardiovascular disease. This means that there is likely a powerful benefit to heart health with regular resistance/strength training exercises (2x or more per week) as we enter our middle ages and older.
What is skeletal muscle mass, and what was this study seeking to determine? Has this been done before?
Skeletal muscle mass is the weight of the muscles in our body. This study out of Greece was looking to find out if a higher skeletal muscle mass was a positive factor for future cardiovascular benefits in patients currently free of cardiovascular disease.
They tested the patients and then reassessed the patients 10 years later. A study of this kind had never been done before. This is important because it eliminated the concern that cardiovascular disease had actually been the cause of a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
What were the results?
The authors found that patients in the top third of muscle mass measurements at the beginning of the study had an 81% lower risk of a cardiovascular disease event over the following 10 years. This was after controlling for other factors that may be contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease … Read more.